The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE:GWW). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Industrials company by 2.10% to 5.38 million shares with purchase of 0.11 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 10.64% valued currently at $2.99 billion. In addition, BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its holdings by 7411.0 to 2.54 million shares. And SSgA Funds Management, Inc. has lifted its position by 3.82% or 80677.0 shares – to 2.19 million shares.
With over 0.34 million W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW) shares trading Tuesday and a closing price of $571.67 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $194.38 million. The shares have shown a positive half year performance of 26.12% and its price on 01/17/23 lost nearly -0.38%. Currently, there are 50.80M common shares owned by the public and among those 45.63M shares have been available to trade.
An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 16 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for GWW have a consensus price objective of $616.42. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $756.00 and a low of $439.00. The average price target is 5.75% above its recent price level and a downside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -30.22% over that period. But an upside of 24.38% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while median target price for the stock is $635.00.
Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 71 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 16 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 57,370 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 55 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 51,134 shares.
The top 3 mutual fund holders in W.W. Grainger Inc. are Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund, and Vanguard 500 Index Fund. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index owns 1.38 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $767.52 million. The company bought an additional 6609.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 2.73% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund bought 2266.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 1.07 million shares valued at over $596.15 million and representing 2.12% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund bought 1356.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 1.04 million shares at a value of $577.18 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.05% of the shares outstanding.
Shares of W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW) opened at $578.22, up $4.36 from a prior closing price of $573.86. However, the script later moved the day high at 579.78, down -0.38%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of 2.52% and 14.07% over the past three months. GWW shares are trading 2.77% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 12.50% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $440.48 and touched a high of $612.06 over the same period. GWW has an average intraday trading volume of 294.08K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by 1.82%, -1.53%, and 8.42% respectively.
Institutional ownership of W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW) shares accounts for 75.40% of the company’s 50.80M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 37.58%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 40.67% and 34.26% respectively.
It has a market capitalization of $28.82B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.21. The stock’s trailing 12-month PE ratio is 20.29, while the earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at $28.17. The company has a PEG of 0.73 and a Quick Ratio of 1.50 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 1.00. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.18% over the week and 2.04% over the month.
Analysts forecast that W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW) will achieve an EPS of $7.25 for the current quarter, $6.62 for the next quarter and $29.78 for 2023. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $6.97 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $7.52. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $5.65 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to increase by 54.40%, and 4.62% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 27.95% over the next five years, compared to 15.10% over the past 5-year period.
If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 16 brokerage firm advisors rate W.W. Grainger Inc. (GWW) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.60. Specifically, 4 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 8 of the 16 advise that investors “hold,” and 2 rated it as a “Sell.”
Looking at the support for the GWW, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Atlantic Equities stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on November 15, 2022, with the firm’s price target at $630. Jefferies was of a view on October 17, 2022 that the stock is Buy, while Morgan Stanley gave the stock Underweight rating on April 14, 2022, issuing a price target of $562- $480. Wolfe Research on their part issued Outperform rating on April 06, 2022.